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Tokyo Big6 Baseball League (東京六大学野球連盟, Tōkyō roku daigaku yakyū renmei) is an intercollegiate baseball league that features six prominent universities in the Tokyo area. Before the 1936 establishment of the Japanese Baseball League and subsequent growth (after 1950) of Nippon Professional Baseball, the Big6 League was widely considered the highest level of baseball in Japan.
|Tokyo Big6 Baseball League|
|Meiji Jingu Tournament Championships||12|
|Prefectures||1 – Tokyo|
- Established: 1915
- All-Time Record: 1,204-880-121
- League Championships: 46
- Last Championship: Spring 2020
- Established: 1892
- All-Time Record: 1,225-864-95
- League Championships: 37
- Last Championship: Autumn 2019
- Established: 1910
- All-Time Record: 1,254-851-109
- League Championships: 40
- Last Championship: Spring 2019
- Established: 1874
- All-Time Record: 947-1,146-100
- League Championships: 13
- Last Championship: Spring 2017
- Established: 1917
- All-Time Record: 253-1,672-57
- League Championships: None
- Last Championship: N/A
- Established: 1901
- All-Time Record: 1,306-776-90
- League Championships: 46
- Last Championship: Autumn 2020
The Tokyo Big6 Baseball League was established in 1925. It is also the origin of the Tokyo 6 Universities (東京六大学, Tōkyō roku daigaku) nickname that is given to the same six universities.
All games are played at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo. Games are known to be rowdy and celebratory, with male cheerleaders (応援団, Ōendan), cheerleaders and bands working themselves and the crowd into a frenzy.
Schedule and rulesEdit
The six teams play short, eight-weekend seasons in the spring and autumn of each year. Each team plays a short series against each of the five other teams in the league. The series format is similar to a three-game playoff, where the first to two wins is given a series victory. Home field is alternated, and all games are played at Meiji Jingu Stadium. Should a team sweep the first two games, the third game is not played.
The champion of the league is determined by the team with the most series victories. The champion team is given the Emperor's Cup. This is unique in Japan in that the other Emperor's cups are given to national champions in other sports such as Emperor's Cup of Football. The spring champion is allowed to participate in the All Japan University Baseball Championship Series while the fall champion is allowed to compete in the Meiji Jingu Stadium Tournament.
The league uses rules that are similar to the National and Central Leagues. The designated hitter rule is not used and the pitcher is required to bat. Also, unlike American university leagues, non-wood bats are banned.
Hosei University and Waseda University are tied for the most league championships with 46 each. Meiji University has won 40 times and Keio University has captured 37 league titles. Rikkyo trails with 13, while the University of Tokyo has yet to win a championship.
|University||Number of championships|
Current as of Autumn 2020
Waseda vs. Keio: SōkeisenEdit
The series between Waseda and Keio, Sōkeisen (早慶戦), attracts the most attention and is greatly enjoyed by the students, not least because it causes classes at both universities to be canceled. The game is still broadcast on NHK and it is the only series played during the last week of the season.
The Sōkeisen actually predates the establishment of the Tokyo Big6 League by over 20 years, beginning in 1903. The games often caused much tension between the two student bodies, often spilling out of the stadium and leading to the cancellation of games.
The addition of Meiji (1914), Hosei (1917) and Rikkyo (1921) would do little to remedy the rivalry. This state would continue until the addition of Tokyo Imperial University and the official establishment of the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League.
The name is a combination of the two university's names first kanji characters and the character for battle or match, sen (戦). Sō, is the alternate reading of Wa (早) in Waseda (早稲田) (also from the short name, Sōdai (早大)), while Kei (慶) is the first character of Keio (慶応).
- Tadashi Wakabayashi (Hanshin Tigers → Mainichi Orions)
- Koichi Tabuchi (Hanshin Tigers → Seibu Lions)
- Koji Yamamoto (Hiroshima Toyo Carp)
- Suguru Egawa (Yomiuri Giants)
- Takehiko Kobayakawa (Hiroshima Toyo Carp → Yakult Swallows)
- Atsunori Inaba (Yakult Swallows → Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters)
- Kaoru Betto (Hanshin Tigers / Ōsaka Tigers → Mainichi Orions)
- Motoshi Fujita (Yomiuri Giants)
- Yoshinobu Takahashi (Yomiuri Giants)
- Senichi Hoshino (Chunichi Dragons)
- Katsunori Nomura (Yakult Swallows → Hanshin Tigers → Yomiuri Giants → Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles)
- Kenshin Kawakami (Chunichi Dragons → Atlanta Braves)
- Shigeo Nagashima (Yomiuri Giants)
- Tadashi Sugiura (Nankai Hawks)
- Kazushige Nagashima (Yakult Swallows → Yomiuri Giants)
- Takeo Kawamura (Yokohama BayStars)
- Kazuhito Tadano (Cleveland Indians → Oakland Athletics)
- Masatoshi Akihara (film director)
- Takeshi Shina (a member of the House of Representatives (Japan))
- Hirohisa Fujii (former Minister of Finance (Japan), a member of the House of Representatives (Japan))
- Kaoru Yosano (former Minister of Finance (Japan), a member of the House of Representatives (Japan))
- Haruyasu Nakajima (Yomiuri Giants)
- Tatsuro Hirooka (Yomiuri Giants)
- Akinobu Okada (Hanshin Tigers → Orix BlueWave / Orix Buffaloes)
- Hiroo Ishii (Kintetsu Buffaloes → Yomiuri Giants)
- Satoru Komiyama (Lotte Orions / Chiba Lotte Marines → Yokohama BayStars → New York Mets)
- Tsuyoshi Wada (Fukuoka Daiei Hawks / Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks → Norfolk Tides → Chicago Cubs)
- Norichika Aoki (Tokyo Yakult Swallows → Milwaukee Brewers → Kansas City Royals)
- Shugo Fujii (Tokyo Yakult Swallows)
- Shinichi Takeuchi (Tokyo Yakult Swallows)
- Hiroyasu Tanaka (Tokyo Yakult Swallows)
- Takashi Toritani (Hanshin Tigers)
- Daisuke Ochi (Yomiuri Giants)
- Yuki Saito (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters)
- "一般財団法人 東京六大学野球連盟".
- "一般財団法人 東京六大学野球連盟".
- It is often reversed, 慶早戦, Keisōsen, by the student body at Keio University.
- A victory no longer guarantees the cancellation of classes at Waseda University.
- Though the university officially uses the name Rikkyo University, Rikkyo remains on the team's jerseys. This article uses Rikkyo accordingly.
- The Yakult Swallows Home Plate